I have this habit I do every morning when I’m out on my first walk o’ the day with Daisy. I ask myself, “What’s something unexpected that happened yesterday?” I don’t hurry up and answer it. I take my time.
This has been a pretty easy question to answer lately!
It gets me to think about my agenda vs the bigger agenda. It’s forces me to notice what’s working on my behalf, what unseen elements in my life are orchestrating outcomes I would NEVER have chosen myself. It helps me build trust in the unknown. The unknown and I aren’t always BFF’s but given how often it shows up in my life, maybe we should be?
Sometimes, I can’t see the whole picture. When I ask this question and something pops in from the day before, I often think, “That was such CRAP!” Inevitably a few days, months, or years later, I see the absolute divinity in it. I see why and how it was so perfect. More importantly, I notice how if things had gone MY way, from my limited thinking and perspective, it would’ve been soo no bueno. Often, I look back on my plan vs what actually happened and I feel darn right spared.
By way of example, a number of years ago, a job opened up and I wanted it. It would be a huge promotion but I was so ripe for it and 100% perfect for the role. This job was made for me. My co-workers and management agreed and I kept knocking down the competition one poor insufficient competitor at a time. Finally, it came down to me and one other candidate. She was qualified too but I still felt confident that this job was MINE. I couldn’t stop thinking about it; exactly how I’d show up, what value I’d bring and how I’d run my team. I even had my first-day-on-the-job outfit picked out (grey suit with pink pinstripes).
I didn’t get the job. When my GM sat me down and explained how they had “other plans for me”, all I could hear was the Peanuts teacher’s voice, “wompity womp wooomp”. I was devastated and held back surges of emotion. I felt numb, fog filled my mind and my heart ached. All I could think was that there had been a huge mistake. I really really wanted that job, I thought.
I took a different job a few months later, one I was truly excited about and where I’d be working with the gal who got the other job. What happened over the next few years was astonishing, I saw this gal get absolutely crushed. So much was changing inside the industry and hurdle after impossible hurdle was thrown at her. It ached to see what she was dealing with and I felt zero pleasure or joy witnessing her intense struggle. What I did feel was awestruck. That was the job I wanted! That was the role I had sobbed over not getting while sitting alone in my car in a parking lot. I knew my limits, my talents, my competencies and I also knew – had I had gotten that job, it would have crushed me like a bug too.
There was no justifiable reason why I didn’t get the it, I was just spared. Life worked on my behalf, a greater intelligence orchestrating my best outcome—not just sometimes, all the time.
In light of what’s going on now, I don’t abandon this knowing: I double down.
Yes, I can’t help but feel waves of nervousness as I look at my very spacious calendar. Yes, I watch the news and understand what’s going on. And yes-x-1million, I’m also embracing what’s showing up that wasn’t there before, that I didn’t expect, new stuff like:
-more time to write
-an opportunity to join a group of teachers for a full day magical workshop (coming soon!)
-Zooming with Dad
Your turn! What’s something that happened yesterday that you didn’t expect?
Or, if that question feels too weird right now, how about….just, tell me something awesome.